The Pocket Lavater; or, The Science of Physiognomy To which is added an inquiry into the analogy existing between brute and human physiognomy by Lavater, Johann Caspar

[Illustration: T. G. LAVATER.]


Embellished with 44 Copperplate heads.

_NEW-YORK_: Published by Van Winkle & Wiley. 1817.

_Southern District of New-York, ss._

BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the first day of May, in the forty-first year of the Independence of the United States of America, VAN WINKLE & WILEY, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words and figures following, to wit:

“The Pocket Lavater, or, the Science of Physiognomy. To which is added, An Inquiry into the Analogy existing between Brute and Human Physiognomy, from the Italian of Porta. Embellished with 14 Copperplate heads.”

IN CONFORMITY to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,” and also, to an act entitled, “An act, supplementary to an act, entitled, an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical and other prints.”


Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.


The public are here presented with a translation from the French of the “Pocket Lavater,” a work which has become highly popular in France, and which has run through successive and repeated editions.

The attention which the French have, of late, paid to Physiognomy, may be ascribed not only to the infatuating nature, and intrinsic excellence of that science, but, also, to adventitious circumstances. France, or, more properly, its metropolis, has, within a few years, become, as it were, the immense stage on which all the varieties of human aspect and action have been exhibited. Their painters, at present, employ the pencil, not on pieces of ancient history or mythological fiction, but in designating the various national physiognomies, costumes, and conformation of body, which Paris now presents, assembled from all Europe, and from some parts of Asia. The Physiognomist has there an ample scope for the study and enlargement of his Science: the Briton melancholy amidst success--the Frenchman happy amidst adversity--the phlegmatic German, the choleric Russian, the proud Spaniard, the vain Pole, and the grave and jealous Turk; these parading her streets and gardens, or thronging her Caffées, must present a group, whose motley and various character mocks both narrative and description. All of these are distinguished from each other by a difference of countenance, language, dress, habits, customs, and manners; yet the philosopher observes in all these but one being under different modifications.

This edition is enriched by an ingenious inquiry into the existing analogy between brute and human physiognomy, from the Italian of Porta, whose observations on national character, although written three centuries ago, are found correct at the present day.

The plates which accompany this work, are designed, and faithfully executed, after those which accompany the Paris edition.

The Publishers, in submitting this work to the public, will be influenced by its success to the publication of the “Female Lavater,” a work of established merit, and which forms a counterpart to the present volume.


Nothing is more common than to hear the study of physiognomy condemned as being calculated to mislead men in their judgments of each other, and the impossibility of its being reduced to a science; yet, nothing is more universally prevalent, in all classes of society, than forming judgments from the appearances of the face. How often do we hear these observations--“He has an open countenance”--“His countenance is forbidding”--“That man has an honest face”--“His looks are enough for me”--“Rogue is depicted in his countenance,” “That bewitching eye”--“That stupid face,” and many other expressions of the kind. This proves that, although differences of opinion may be entertained respecting physiognomy, all men are, in the true signification of the term, physiognomists. We shall here proceed to point out some of its advantages.

Whether a more certain, more accurate, more extensive, and thereby, a more perfect knowledge of man, be, or be not profitable; whether it be, or be not, advantageous to gain a knowledge of internal qualities from external form and feature, is certainly a question deserving of inquiry.

It may be asked, Is knowledge, its extension and increase, of consequence to man? This question, it is presumed, can receive but one answer from all unprejudiced persons: for, as certainly as man is possessed of corporeal strength, so certain is it that to exercise strength is necessary. As certainly as he has the faculties, power, and will, to love, so certain is it that it is necessary he should love. Equally certain is it, that if man has the faculties, power, and will, to obtain wisdom, that he should exercise those faculties for the attainment of wisdom.

Mutual intercourse is the thing of most consequence to mankind, who are destined to live in society. The knowledge of man is the soul of this intercourse--that which imparts to it animation, pleasure, and profit. This knowledge is, in some degree, inseparable from, because necessary to, all men. And how shall we, with greater ease and certainty, acquire this knowledge than by the aid of physiognomy, understood in its most extensive sense, since, in so many of his actions, man is incomprehensible?

Physiognomy unites hearts, and forms the most durable, the most divine friendships; nor can friendship discover a more solid foundation than in the fair outlines and noble features of certain countenances.

Physiognomy is the very soul of wisdom, since it elevates the mutual pleasures of intercourse, and whispers to the heart when it is necessary to speak--when to be silent; when to forewarn--when to excite; when to console--when to reprehend.

But to enumerate all the advantages that are derived from the study of physiognomy would require a volume. We shall, therefore, conclude these prefatory remarks by adding testimonies, from the highest authorities, in favour of that science, which Lavater, in his essay, introduces in the following manner:

“To support the feeble among my readers, and to furnish the strong with such arguments as are most convenient to their disputes with the feeble, I shall produce witnesses, of more or less importance among the learned and wise, in the company of whom I shall deem it an honour to be despised. They will be few, and not conclusive; but, however, may to many appear of consequence, and be unexpected:

“The countenance of the wise sheweth wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.”--PROV. xvii. 24.

“Though the wicked man constrain his countenance, the wise can distinctly discern his purpose.”--PROV. xxi. 29.

“The heart of man changeth his countenance, whether it be for good or evil; and a merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.”--ECCL. xiii. 25.

“A man may be known by his look; and one that hath understanding, by his countenance, when thou meetest him.”--ECCL. xix. 29.

“We know that nothing passes in the soul which does not produce some change in the body; and particularly, that no desire, no act of willing, is exerted by the soul without some corresponding motion, at the same time, taking place in the body. All changes of the soul originate in the soul’s essence, and all changes in the body in the body’s essence. The body’s essence consists in the conformation of its members; therefore, the conformation of the body, according to its form, and the form of its constituent members, must correspond with the essence of the soul. In like manner must the varieties of the mind be displayed in the varieties of the body. Hence, the body must contain something in itself, and in its form, as well as in the form of its parts, by which an opinion may be deduced concerning the native qualities of the mind. I repeat, native qualities; for the question here does not concern those qualities derived from education, or by instructive conversation. Thus considered, the art of judging man by the form of his members, and of his whole body, usually called physiognomy, is well founded.

“The lines of the countenance constitute its expression; which expression is always true when the mind is free from constraint: these lines, therefore, must discover what the natural inclinations are, when seen in their true and native position.”--WOLF.

“What is the fairest countenance, disfigured by the hateful vices of lust, anger, falsehood, envy, avarice, pride, and discontent? What can external marks of decorum effect when an ignoble and insignificant mind is depicted in the countenance? The most certain means of rendering the face beautiful, is to beautify the mind, and to purify it from vice. He who would make his countenance intelligent must so first make his mind. He who would impart to the face its most fascinating charms, must store the mind with religion and virtue, which will diffuse over it every expression of sublime content.”--GILLERT.

“Where is the hand that shall grasp that which resides beneath the skull of man? Who shall approach the surface of that now tranquil, now tempestuous, abyss! Like as the Deity has ever been adored in sacred groves, so is the Lebanon, the Olympus of man, that seat of the secret power of the divinity, overshadowed. We shudder at contemplating the powers contained in so small a circumference, by which a world may be enlightened, or a world destroyed.

“Through those two inlets of soul, the eye and ear, how wonderful are the worlds of light and sound, the words and images that find entrance!

“How significant are the descending locks that shade this mountain, this seat of the gods! their luxuriance, their partition, their intermingling!

“The head is elevated upon the neck. Olympus resting upon an eminence in which are united freedom and strength, compression and elasticity, descriptive of the present and the future. The neck it is that expresses, not what man was originally, but what he is, by habit or accident, become; whether erect in defence of freedom, stretched forth and curbed in token of patient suffering, rising a Herculean pillar of fortitude, or sinking between the shoulders, the image of degradation; still it is incontestably expressive of character, action, and truth.

“Let us proceed to the countenance, in which shine forth mind and divinity.

“On the front appear light and gloom, joy and anxiety, stupidity, ignorance, and vice. On this brazen table are deeply engraved every combination of sense and soul. I can conceive no spectator to whom the forehead can appear uninteresting. Here all the graces revel, or all the Cyclops thunder! Nature has left it bare, that, by it, the countenance may be enlightened or darkened.

“At its lowest extremities, thought appears to be changed into act. The mind here collects the powers of resistance. Here reside the _cornua addita pauperi_. Here headlong obstinacy and wise perseverance take up their fixed abode.

“Beneath the forehead are its beauteous confines the eyebrows; a rainbow of promise, when benignant; and the bent bow of discord, when enraged; alike descriptive, in each case, of interior feeling.

“I know not any thing which can give more pleasure, to an accurate observer, than a distinct and perfectly arched eyebrow.

“The nose imparts solidity and unity to the whole countenance. It is the mountain that shelters the fair vales beneath. How descriptive of mind and character are its various parts; the insertion, the ridge, the cartilage, the nostrils, through which life is inhaled!

“The eyes, considered only as tangible objects, are by their form the windows of the soul, the fountains of light and life. Mere feeling would discover that their size and globular shape are not unmeaning. The eye-bone, whether gradually sunken, or boldly prominent, equally is worthy of attention; as likewise are the temples, whether hollow or smooth. That region of the face which includes the eyebrows, eye, and nose, also includes the chief signs of soul; that is, of will, or mind, in action.

“The occult, the noble, the sublime, sense of hearing, has nature placed sideways, and half concealed. Man ought not to listen entirely from motives of complaisance to others, but of information to himself; and, however perfect this organ of sensation may be, it is devoid of ornament; or, rather, delicacy, depth, and expansion, are its only ornaments.

“I now come to the inferior part of the face, on which nature bestowed a mask for the male; and, in my opinion, not without reason. Here are displayed those marks of sensuality which ought to be hidden. All know how much the upper lip betokens the sensations of taste, desire, appetite, and the enjoyments of love; how much it is curved by pride and anger, drawn thin by cunning, smoothed by benevolence, made flaccid by effeminacy; how love and desire, sighs and kisses, cling to it, by indescribable traits. The under lip is little more than its supporter, the rosy cushion on which the crown of majesty reposes. If the parts of any two bodies can be pronounced to be exactly adapted to each other, such are the lips of man, when the mouth is closed.

“It is exceedingly necessary to observe the arrangement of the teeth, and the circular conformation of the cheeks. The chaste and delicate mouth is, perhaps, one of the first recommendations to be met with in the common intercourse of life. Words are the pictures of the mind. We judge of the host by the portal. He holds the flaggon of truth, of love, and endearing friendship.

“The chin is formed by the under lip, and the termination of the jaw-bones. If I may speak figuratively, it is the picture of sensuality, in man, according as it is more or less flexible, smooth, or carbuncled: it discovers what his rank is among his fellows. The chin forms the oval of the countenance; and when, as in the antique statues of the Greeks, it is neither pointed nor indented, but smooth, and gradually diminishes, it is then the key-stone of the super-structure. A deformity in the chin is indeed much to be dreaded.”--HERDER.


The various thoughts which arise in the mind, the different passions which agitate the soul of man, are respectively connected with his features and the external parts of his frame; and so intimate is their correspondence, that the expression of the countenance, more rapid than speech, betrays his sentiments and emotions, and gives to his utterance energy and animation. The one was designed as a mirror in which we might behold the other reflected; but the vicious study dissimulation; they endeavour to lock their passions and vices within their own breasts, and, by a virtuous exterior, to conceal the characteristic expression of villany. In vain, however, does hypocrisy tender them her aid: the outward figure and form of the man are forced to a resemblance of the internal model, and the dispositions of the heart are almost invariably depicted on the countenance. These facts were observed and verified, and such was the origin of physiognomy.

Most persons are daily in the practice of this art, without a knowledge of the principles upon which it is founded, but according to such crude and uncertain notions as are supplied by custom and general opinion. A man’s face displeases them: this is often a sufficient ground for aversion. Prejudices of this nature ought to be exploded, and it behooves the man of science and real philanthropy to remove them. Such was the great design of Lavater, whose profound researches, guided by the desire of being useful to his species, displayed to him the nature of man, and taught him how far the moral character is capable of being traced upon the visage. He has created a new art--he has traversed an unbeaten path. Has he not, however, gone too far in attempting to determine the character of a man by the form of his hands, ears, &c.--in assigning to these parts an expression of which they are not susceptible? His opinions are sometimes rash, especially when resting upon such foundations; but these are venial faults, and the inquirer after truth will always adopt Lavater as his guide.

This subject has already been handled by celebrated men of antiquity, such as Galen, Aristotle, Polemo, Adamantius, and many others; but their systems were bottomed upon very weak grounds; and they assumed as the basis of their opinions, the shape of the limbs, and other vague criteria. Their whole doctrine was like those old empirical recipes, in which were absurdly compounded a thousand drugs, each destroying the effect of the other: it would be just as safe to rely upon such remedies for the cure of a patient, as to trust to the remarks of those authors; at whose erroneous ideas we may justly be surprised, since they were generally endowed with a spirit of observation.

The ancient physiological system has been superseded by another scheme, no less ridiculous and visionary, which rests its decisions upon certain projections and cavities of the cranium, invisible to every eye, and existing nowhere but in the brain of the inventor of this whimsical doctrine.

But let us return from this digression to a subject of greater utility.

We shall now proceed to an analysis of the various parts which compose the human visage, and shall endeavour to lay down such positions only as are supported by reasons deduced from physical science: there are, however, physiological phenomena which are inexplicable; yet, having been confirmed by a cautious and scrutinizing observation, they could not be passed over in silence, without subjecting ourselves to the reproach of skepticism.



A large head, with a small triangular forehead, denotes a total want of understanding.

If the skull be loaded with fat and flesh, this is usually an indication of a shallow mind: much more if, at the same time, it be small and round; it then denotes stupidity.

Where the occiput, that is, the back part of the skull, is compressed, or, rather, where it exhibits a cavity, it is a sign of a weak mind, sometimes stubborn, and always contracted. (See _pl. V_.)


It is by the shape and size of the forehead that we are to judge of the extent of a man’s understanding.

A gently arched forehead, without a single angle, evinces a mild disposition; and often, that the mind is destitute of energy. (See _pl. XXIV_.)

A smooth, open forehead, indicates peace of mind; when it is wrinkled and furrowed, it announces stormy passions, perturbation of mind, and old age: but in the latter instance, the wrinkles are more regular, less broken, and do not approach so near the eyes.

The upper part of the forehead only being wrinkled, gives to the visage a look of amazement, which sometimes approaches to folly.

Perpendicular wrinkles on the forehead give promise of great energy and application; but the contrary when they are cut transversely by others.

A forehead full of irregular protuberances is characteristic of a choleric temperament. (See _pl. XXII_.)

When we meet with horizontal lines at the junction of the nose and forehead, we may expect a harsh and unfeeling disposition. (See _pl. VIII_.)

Deep perpendicular incisions between the eyebrows, are evidence of strength of mind, provided they be not counterbalanced by other indications of a positively contrary import.

When the frontal vein appears distinctly in the midst of a forehead, open, uniform, and regularly arched, it announces extraordinary talent.

When the forehead is perfectly perpendicular, from the hair to the eyebrows, it denotes an utter deficiency of understanding. (See _pl. V_.)

But if it be, at the same time, arched toward the summit, it furnishes an indication of a profound, reflecting, cool mind. (See _pl. XV_.)

When the forehead is rounded and projecting, as is the case with the generality of infants, it evinces a weak mind; if it project very much, then it betrays the utmost degree of stupidity.

If it is rounding toward the summit, with a slight projection, and then descending in a straight line, it shows great judgment, an irritable disposition, but a heart of ice; a forehead of this description is frequently characteristic of melancholy.

A narrow forehead is usually the sign of a froward disposition.

If it incline backward, we may then anticipate rashness and want of reflection, especially if there be no very remarkable jutting of the bones of the eyes. (See _pl. XXV_.)

A high forehead is a mark of capriciousness.

Should the bone of the eye be projecting and plainly marked, this designates aptness for mental exertion.


Small eyebrows always accompany a phlegmatic temperament. (See _pl. XIII_.)

If horizontal, they betoken a masculine and vigorous character. (See _pl. VII_.)

When they are partly horizontal, and partly curved, they denote energy and ingenuity.

If situated very high, they almost always evince a person incapable of reflection.

A wide space between the two eyebrows, designates a quick apprehension, a calm and tranquil soul.

The nearer they approach the eyes, the stronger is the assurance they give of solidity and reflection.

Angular, discontinuous eyebrows, mark an inventive genius.

When uneven and disordered, they are proofs of great vivacity.

Full, compact, well-disposed, and symmetrical eyebrows, are almost always indicative of solidity of judgment, and of clear sound sense.


It is peculiarly the province of the eyes to declare the emotions of the soul, and to exhibit the workings of sentiment and passion.

Blue eyes are frequently found in persons of phlegmatic character; they are often indications of feebleness and effeminacy.

Black eyes portend energy.

If gray, they often mark a choleric disposition; in such case, the lids are red, drawn back, and sunken. (See _pl. XXII_.)

Hazel, or brown eyes, indicate vivacity and affability.

When the extremity near the nose is acute, it denotes cunning and finesse.

If the upper eyelid cross diametrically the ball of the eye, it is a sign of subtlety and cunning.


The nose is not a feature capable of conveying much expression; yet its form and relative position, in respect of other parts of the face, furnish some characteristics.

An aquiline nose designates an imperious temper, and ardent passions. (See _pl. XXV_.)

A nose, the ridge of which is large, denotes a mind endowed with qualities of a high order. (See _pl. VII_.)

When the sides of the nose are flexible, and perfectly disconnected, it betrays a proneness to sensuality.

A nose curved at the root, announces a personage born to command, firm in his purposes, and ardent in the pursuit. (See _pl. XI_.)

Small nostrils disclose timidity of soul.

A sharp pointed nose is characteristic of a passionate man. (See _pl. XXII_.)


The mouth is the most expressive feature of the face; it is peculiarly the index to the discovery of character, and almost always represents the nature and disposition of the man; so delicate are the shades and varieties of which it is susceptible, that it would be impossible to describe them with perfect precision.

If the lips are thick and fleshy, this is a sign of sensuality and of slothfulness; it is always a characteristic of a phlegmatic temper. (See _pl. XIII_.)

A mouth frequently shut, lips closed, and strongly marked, appertain to the avaricious. (See _pl. XIX_.)

When the lower lip projects beyond the upper, it denotes negative goodness. (See _pl. XIV_.)

A closed mouth, concealing the edge of the lips, betokens a person of application, and inclined to regularity and neatness.

But if, at the same time, it turns up at the extremities, then it expresses affectation, arrogance, vanity, and malignity.

A large interval between the mouth and nose indicates want of prudence.

Full, distinct, and well-proportioned lips, designate a character hostile to falsehood, villany, and baseness, but with a propensity to pleasure.


An advancing, projecting chin is always a declaration of energy. (See _pl. XX_.) When pointed, it often denotes craft. (See _pl. I_.)

Should it, on the other hand, recede, it then indicates a character destitute of firmness.

When it is angular, it betokens a sensible mind, and a benevolent heart.

A flat chin announces coolness of temper. (See _pl. XXVII_.)

A smooth, fleshy, double chin, is indicative of sensuality.

A small chin is characteristic of timidity.

A round, dimpled chin, is a sign of good nature.


Fleshy cheeks denote a proneness to sensuality.

Should we discover in them a certain triangular hollow, it is an infallible sign of envy and jealousy.

Large and coarse furrows bear the impression of ill nature and brutality.


Short, black, coarse, curly hair, evinces a character somewhat irritable, and often shows it to be devoid of sensibility.

But light, soft hair, is evidence of a contrary disposition, and almost always denotes gentleness.

A striking contrast between the colour of a man’s hair and his eyebrows should excite suspicion.


A long neck is declaratory of gentleness.

When short and thick, especially if the veins should be very conspicuous, it is an indication of a passionate man. (See _pl. XXII_.)

* * * * *

We will now conclude our discussion of the peculiar expression of the several features, and proceed to connect precept and example, by exhibiting a variety of physiognomies, and pointing out the different expressions of character which they display.

[Illustration: 1]


No. I.

In this face we may search in vain for a single expression of frankness; this slightly-projecting chin, when accompanied with small, penetrating eyes, denotes the absence of sincerity. There is no display of benevolence in this oblique mouth; and avarice reveals itself in these close-locked lips. Combine all these features, and they result in a cunning, deceitful, avaricious, and not merely firm, but stubborn, old fellow.

Such a man moves quick, and speaks slowly and circumspectly; for suspicion is the mainspring of his character.

[Illustration: 2]

No. II.

Here is the head of a man well calculated for business; the upper part of his head has great elevation, which is an unerring characteristic of a calculating, deep-thinking mind; his _forte_ lies in those sciences which demand precision, profundity, and unwearied application; he may be a good geometrician, but not a poet--never can he rise to sublimity; his features, however, do not represent the firmness and severity which are so obvious in a subsequent head; (No. XV.;) a sanguine temperament predominates, and hints at a propensity for pleasure, so powerful as often to withdraw his attention from serious affairs.

[Illustration: 3]

No. III.

We are struck, at the first glance, with the air of probity which is observable in this face; the mouth expresses, at once, kindness, delicacy, and experience; the chin, gently projecting, and triangular, marks a mind firm without obstinacy, and a benevolent heart. Although the forehead and nose give no assurance of greatness, (for there is too deep a cavity between them,) still they denote understanding: a mouth which, like this, has a straight aperture, almost concealing the edge of the lips, always designates a man of application, and one fond of regularity and neatness.

[Illustration: 4]

No. IV.

Here we may behold the characteristics of love of order, and attention to method; in this mouth, closely shut, and hiding the edge of the lips, are depicted application and regularity. The lower part of the face recedes a little: this is an indication of a man of discretion, modesty, gravity, and reserve. He is not pleased with a book unless it is written clearly and methodically: he never rises to poetic invention, or overleaps the boundaries of scrupulous exactness.

The hand-writing of a man of this description will be small and regular; his gait leisurely and solemn, and his conversation not brilliant, but clear, concise, and sensible.

[Illustration: 5]

No. V.

Here are indelibly depicted a dull and narrow intellect, self-conceit, and the grossest ignorance. We may observe that a nose of this form, in connexion with thick lips, is always a prognostic of obstinacy; still more if the forehead be also perpendicular; and, above all, if the occiput, instead of being arched, is concave. And here we may apply this general rule, _that every remarkable concavity denotes a defect in the corresponding organ_.

[Illustration: 6]

No. VI.

This countenance has been disfigured by intemperance, as is apparent from every feature; nature never formed a nose like this; these lips, these wrinkles, are all expressive of insatiable thirst; the glance of the eye has lost its native energy.

The nose and cheeks of a person addicted to intoxication are almost always red, and the edges of the eyelids are often tinged with the same colour; in general, the skin, especially under the chin, is flaccid and wrinkled.

[Illustration: 7]

No. VII.

The original of this portrait is one who knows how to enjoy life like a wise man; if he is not nice in his pleasures, he, at least, does not carry them to excess. The cast of his mind presupposes gentleness, rather than harshness--dignity, rather than elevation--firmness of character, rather than violence of passion--transient irritation, rather than continued resentment. The eyebrow fully expresses the decree to which a choleric temperament prevails, and the eye is a compound of the melancholic and phlegmatic characters; the same mixture is again apparent in the contour of the face from the ear to the chin; but the whole profile, taken in connexion, exhibits a sanguine ground, relieved with a choleric tint. (_Extract from Lavatory._)

[Illustration: 8]


Sternness is engraven upon these features; the wrinkles in the vicinity of the eyes, and, particularly, those at the root of the nose, the salient angle formed by the lower part of the cheeks near the mouth--all announce harshness and insensibility; the elevation of the chin designates a certain degree of energy, and the shape of the forehead denotes coolness and reflection, but it gives no indication of docility.

Melancholy evidently predominates in this physiognomy.

[Illustration: 9]

No. IX.

This animated eye, this voluptuous mouth, and these eyebrows gently arched, characterize a sanguine man; an expressive countenance, eyes often blue, and always quick, usually indicate this character. He is easily moved; slight circumstances agitate him, but he is soon composed. As his features always express his feelings, it is difficult for him to deceive. He is not vindictive, but is susceptible of the soft emotions of pity. Love rules him with despotic sway, though he may sometimes be accused of inconstancy.

[Illustration: 10]

No. X.

This forehead indicates both genius and folly--this, at the first glance, may appear a contradiction; but the termination of the _frontal sinus_ in a point--an almost infallible mark of folly--renders the position less paradoxical.

A man of such a countenance speaks quickly, talks incoherently, and is often absent, or in a deep reverie.

[Illustration: 11]

No. XI.

Here we see a countenance that evinces a capacity for great achievements--in which patriotism and heroic virtue, worthy of ancient Rome, are distinguishable; but it must be observed, that although it promises fair, still it marks the man to be liable to the failings of humanity, and often subject to be hurried by violence of passion, and false notions of honour, beyond the bounds of reason.

This aquiline nose, curved at the root, is indicative of an imperious and fiery temper; the cavity at the base of the forehead is not sufficiently large, and there is too slight a projection of the bone of the eye;--hence we may predict, that if the person of whom we are speaking takes to improper courses, it will be difficult to restore him to the path of rectitude.

[Illustration: 12]

No. XII.

This is a head in which the observer will recognise a philosopher; but he may search in vain for indications of courage--still less for that heroic boldness which is the parent of brilliant achievement; the outline of the nose, which is without swell or compass, and the sinking at its root, which is too wide and deep, forbid such an inference. There is, however, observable in this face, a delicacy of sentiment easy to be wounded, and it indicates a mind qualified for profound and philosophic researches.

[Illustration: 13]


Phlegmatic people are generally distinguishable by the following signs:--the contour of their features is plump and round, but neither bold nor prominent; their eyebrows are small and elevated, and their lips soft and thick; these characteristics are always accompanied with blue and vacant eyes: the head, in persons of this description, is often round; and the skin almost white and colourless; their hair is generally of a light or chesnut colour, and curls spontaneously; their convex forehead proclaims them incapable of energy; and they are very frequently stout, tall, and plump: it would seem as though nature had been beneficent to the body at the expense of the mind, so sluggishly does the latter perform its functions; and yet the exertions of the former are equally dull and spiritless.

[Illustration: 14]

No. XIV.

This broad, square forehead, betokens a strong memory, and a fund of good sense; but its perpendicular form denotes a degree of inflexibility which may degenerate into obstinacy; the slight projection of the lower lip, and the flatness of the chin, are indicative of good nature.

This is the visage of a prudent, discerning man; of one devoid of poetic genius, and whose writings will never attain to sublimity; but, persevering and resolute, he can turn his mind to every subject, and may render himself conspicuous in a deliberative assembly; he is peculiarly calculated for profound and laborious investigation.

[Illustration: 15]

No. XV.

This is the physiognomy of one designed by nature to be a man of business; he does not possess the forehead of a poet, nor of one whose impetuous imagination transcends the barriers of cold reason; but its elevation and roundness at the summit, are proofs of a sedate, cool, and reflecting mind. The nose announces firmness--benevolence is imprinted on the mouth; but the bold shape of the lips betrays a slight disposition to choler. This chin denotes a man incapable of violating a trust, or betraying the confidence reposed in him, and it would seem as if he had been formed to be essentially useful: as a man of business, a lawyer, or a merchant, his probity and integrity will always render him respectable.

[Illustration: 16]

No. XVI.

Firmness, judgment, and profundity, are the most striking characteristics of this countenance. The bony formation of the head shows that this person possesses a constancy of mind not easy to be shaken: what he has once grasped will never escape him, and he will always advance straight forward to the point. His materials will be disposed with diligence and reflection, but without taste. His forehead, however, is too concave, which lessens the superiority of his character.

This phisiognomy is peculiarly appropriate to a lawyer or a magistrate.

[Illustration: 17]


Here is the phisiognomy of one who judges the actions and characters of men with severity; he extends no indulgence to the follies of mankind, although he yields them his commiseration when bewildered in the mist of error. His scrutinizing look penetrates their thoughts, and his intrepidity never suffers him to conceal from them the truth. His mouth disclaims loquacity; on the contrary, he thinks much, and speaks little; the shape of his forehead betokens a man of the highest intellectual endowments: his mind, however, is methodical, and reason directs its operations. His eyebrows designate a profound thinker, and the irregular shape of the face holds forth the promise of originality of genius.

[Illustration: 18]


Benevolence and probity are depicted on this countenance, which is not that of a man of the world, nor of one subservient to the punctilios of etiquette, and the rules of politeness: for the face, bearing, as it does, the stamp of frankness, seems rather to have the air of a person of inferior rank; and its component features exhibit a kind of muscular strength which is rarely discoverable in the wealthy inhabitants of a great city. This proves that the face of a mechanic may display the noblest qualities as unequivocally as the visage of a man of the most exalted rank; and although not susceptible of the same delicacy of sentiment, and of that nice attention to others, the deficiency is supplied by open and cordial good nature. His features, collectively, proclaim him possessed of intrepidity and calmness.

[Illustration: 19]

No. XIX.

The following particulars are combined in the hateful character of the miser: Egotistical, hard-hearted, and mistrustful, the slightest loss afflicts him; and to confer a benefit upon him, is throwing it away; care is ever brooding in his heart, and every look is fraught with suspicion; his propensity cannot lie concealed; he cannot move, he cannot walk a step, without betraying it. Persons of this description often have small and sunken eyes; their lips are strongly made out, and compressed against one another.

We may observe, that they almost always write badly, which is by no means surprising, since a greater degree of attention would distract their minds from their grand object--the amassing of wealth.

[Illustration: 20]

No. XX.

Here are indications of extraordinary genius. The features of this face, the outlines of which are neither too angular nor too rigid, decisively evince great energy; the nose alone is indicative of an exalted mind: the position of the eyebrows, and the gentle projection and jutting of the chin, are characteristic of resolution; and the perfectly happy formation of the forehead displays genius, and designates a character in which reflection and activity are at once combined: he, whose features unite so many marks of greatness, can be no other than a hero.

[Illustration: 21]

No. XXI.

This countenance is thoroughly good, but it is difficult to discover its constitution. The soundest reason, devoid of what may strictly be called genius, a tender sensibility without affectation, wisdom profiting by every lesson of experience, clearness of perception, elevation of language, calmness, yet not without vigour when called upon to act, and modesty without pusillanimity, are here all collected. The forehead unites the phlegmatic and sanguine; the eye and nose, the choleric and sanguine; the mouth, the sanguine and melancholic; the lower part of the face, the phlegmatic and sanguine temperaments. (_Extract from Lavater._)

[Illustration: 22]


The features which characterise a choleric man are strongly marked; his eye-brows are almost always thick, the end of his nose acute, his eyes very often gray, and always lively, with red lids, and the ball of the eye, starting, as it were, from the head, the upper eyelid rising high, and almost totally disappearing. His nostrils are wide, which show strong respiration; his forehead is covered with irregular protuberances; his blood-vessels are very perceptible, and the colour of his skin varies from yellow to red. The neck of a choleric man is almost always extremely short; and this is the most unequivocal standard by which to determine his character.

[Illustration: 23]


It would be useless to search in this physiognomy for signs of genius: we can only find patience, coldness, and obstinacy; firmness of character difficult to manage; an understanding correct enough, but of little penetration; benevolence without warmth, and fidelity without tenderness; or, rather, that kind of faithful adherence which proceeds more from the mind than the heart.

The convexity of the forehead presumes patience; but the inconsiderable space between the eye and nose forbids perspicuity.

[Illustration: 24]


Here is a candid, ingenuous, frank, and honest countenance, without the slightest vestige of vice, passion, or intrigue. Great talents are not to be expected, for the shape of the forehead, although it does not deny intelligence, yet evinces no energy, but is indicative of gentleness; the chin betrays a degree of timidity, and the mouth betokens tranquillity of mind, and love of order.

[Illustration: 25]

No. XXV.

A receding forehead, eyes black, and full of fire, their shape, the form of the upper eyelid, an aquiline nose, and a large and projecting chin, are here characteristic of a passionate man. The chin designates an enterprising character, the nose denotes an ardent imagination, and lively passions, beyond the control of reason, and the forehead affords no inference of a reflecting mind.

Where there is no excavation between the bones of the eyes, or, in other words, should they form no observable projection, we may anticipate a headstrong and thoughtless character.

[Illustration: 26]


This face presents a most hateful character; craft, sordid avarice, and hardened villany, have disfigured it, and distorted the eyes and mouth. None of its muscles or features is expressive of benevolence or sensibility; the scoundrel might always be recognised in these lineaments; however sedulously he may endeavour to hide his soul behind the mask of hypocrisy; however he may attempt to soften his lips into a smile, still his countenance will infallibly belie him.

[Illustration: 27]


In the physiognomy of this person we may remark a degree of self-love which has degenerated into dogmatism, an arrogant disposition, and a certain irritability which years cannot allay, and which is strongly manifested wherever his self-love is touched. Good sense and correct judgment are, however, perceivable, and the shape of the forehead is by no means incompatible with understanding; but the eyes, the nostrils, and the mouth, denote a disputatious and dogmatical character.

[Illustration: 28]


In this countenance we may recognise a rogue; the size and shape of the forehead are declaratory, however, of a reflecting, and even of a profound mind. The salient angle of the nose, the projection and sharpness of the chin, indicate an astute, enterprising, and crafty character. On the whole, these features, collectively, make up a countenance which we cannot regard without repugnance, and in which it is impossible to confide.

[Illustration: 29]


In this physiognomy we distinguish taste, acuteness and sensibility. Should a man of this description become an author, his style will be florid, and he will describe the beauties of nature and the pleasures of friendship; but he will avoid the discussion of scientific subjects, and sometimes turn away from philosophical argument as dry and insipid.

The shape of his lips would seem to indicate a genius for poetry, and the projection of the bone of the eye shows great aptness for mental exertion. The chin denotes a character possessed of firmness and energy; in fine, we may conclude that a man who bears a physiognomy like this is highly gifted; it distinctly presents the impress of genius.

[Illustration: 30]

No. XXX.

A downcast look, longitudinal wrinkles on the cheeks, compressed lips, and dull eyes, are all symptomatic of a melancholy man; his mouth is often drawn in, his complexion bilious, and his skin dry. It is observable that persons of this character have almost always defective teeth; their eyes are seldom blue, but very frequently dark; their hair is generally long and sleek, and the mouth is usually kept shut, to which the badness of their teeth may be attributed.

[Illustration: 31]


In this head we may recognise the face of a gay and sprightly man; repartee and epigram are his arms, and he is capable of wielding them with spirit and effect. The mouth, with a little hollow in the middle of the under lip, is almost always an indication of such a character, which is also discoverable by the interval between the two eyes.

We must not confound a person of this description with the man that scoffs and jeers; the cheeks of the latter assume a convex form, and approach near to the eyes.

[Illustration: 32]


Here are collected the features of a character of extraordinary melancholy, in which a discontented and sluggish disposition is perceptible. The blue eyes and small eyebrows, and the thickness of the lips, mark the intermixture of a phlegmatic tint; the elongation of the nose, as well as the forehead, declare no want of judgment, and it is that which particularly characterizes this physiognomy, and gives it its pensive air. The features of this face, taken in connexion, exhibit a tranquil mind, fond of regularity, and especially of quiet, and to which the functions of an ecclesiastic would be most appropriate.





John Baptiste Porta, an Italian, published, about three hundred years ago, a treatise on Physiognomy, from which the extracts in the following pages are translated. Although Lavater has ridiculed the system of Porta, he is, nevertheless, indebted to him for many of his best ideas on the subject.

In this treatise Porta says, that Ptolemy Maternusa, Vitruvius, and others, describe all known nations as follows: viz. “The Scythians are cruel, the Italians noble, the Gauls merry and inconsiderate, the Greeks fickle, Africans deceitful, Syrians covetous, Asiatics lecherous, Sicilians cunning, Spaniards haughty, proud, and vain of their courage, Egyptians wise, Babylonians prudent.”

It was the opinion of Plato, that the variety of manners and constitution observable in the inhabitants of different countries is to be attributed solely to the difference of climate.

Aristotle thus writes to Alexander, respecting the character of man.

Nature has formed him more perfect than all other animals, and still he possesses all the different characters of the latter. He is as bold as the lion, timid as the hare; he can be compared to the cock for his pride and liberality, to the dog for his avarice; he is harsh and austere as the crow, gentle as the turtle-dove, domestic as the pigeon, fickle as the roebuck, passionate as the leopard, lazy as the bear, affectionate as the elephant, stupid as the ass, vain as the peacock, industrious as the bee, ungovernable as the bull, cross as the mule, mute as a fish; his malice renders him equal to the lioness, his cunning to the fox, his meekness to the lamb, his love of roving to the kid. The reason with which he is endowed renders him worthy of being compared to angels; he is given to lust as the swine, is wicked as the owl, useful as the horse, and hurtful as the rat. In short, there is no vegetable, mineral, or other substance in the world, but what possesses some quality that can be referred to man. Adamantius says that we may judge of the manners and tempers of all animals by their looks. For instance, it is natural for the lion to be strong and easily provoked, which can be perceived by his form and looks. The leopard is pretty and delicate, but is, nevertheless, subject to anger, to lying in ambush, to treachery, and is at once timid and bold, which exactly corresponds with his external appearance; and so it is with all other animals. The bear is cruel, deceitful, unsocial and savage; the wild boar has a fearless fury, to which he gives himself up; the ox is severe and simple; the horse is proud and desirous of glory; the fox is cunning, and lies in wait; the monkey is jocose and dissembling; the sheep is plain and dull; the goat is lazy; the hog is filthy and gluttonous. The same thing holds good with respect to birds and reptiles. If, then, it happens that a man possesses a member or feature which resembles that of an animal or bird, it is by that resemblance he must be judged. For if his eyes are of a tawny colour, and a little concave, you must remember that they are similar to that of the lion; if very much concave, they denote bad manners, and agree with those of the monkey; if level, they resemble those of the bull; if they seem to start from his head, and are very prominent, stupid, and disagreeable to the sight, they have some likeness to those of the ass.

Man, that master-piece, formed by the Creator in his own image, and impressed with the brilliancy of his character--in short, that earthly divinity, was endowed with a strong and loud voice, a large body, and a slow gait. With respect to his manners and disposition, he has a generous and fearless heart, is equitable, candid, desirous of glory, and eager of success in all his undertakings.

[Illustration: _Fig. 1._]

[Illustration: _Fig. 2._]


According to Aristotle’s opinion on Physiognomy, he whose nose is curved from the root of the forehead, and strongly marked like the beak of an eagle, must be a brave man. It was also observed by Polemon and Adamantius, that such a nose denotes courage; and Albert, upon the authority of Loxus, conveys the same idea. Noses thus formed are commonly distinguished by the term Aquiline, or Roman, and seem to bear the character of something royal or majestic; for the eagle, whose bill is so formed, is the king of birds: from this it may be inferred that an aquiline nose denotes a dignified mind, capable of magnificent conceptions. Cyrus, according to Xenophon and Plutarch, possessed such a nose, and the Persians held them in such high estimation, that they granted royal honours to none but those possessed of aquiline noses, and to that custom they still adhere. They loved Cyrus above all other princes, and admired his magnanimity and courage. I have noticed on a medal, in the collection of my brother Porta, the antiquarian, that Artaxerxes, the descendant of Cyrus, and a king of Persia, had a very crooked and prominent nose. This prince proved the greatness of his mind on many occasions, insomuch that for a trifling present, or some inconsiderable service which he had received from some peasants, he not only gave a great quantity of gold and silver, but cities, and even whole provinces, as a compensation. Demetrius, son of a Syrian king, was surnamed Grypus, by the Greeks, on account of his nose, as is mentioned by Justin. Dares, the Phrygian, says, that Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, had a nose of the same shape. According to Suetoneus, that of Sergius Galba, (who is represented as a very liberal and magnificent prince) was curved in the same manner. Plato relates, in his Eutyphron, that Miletus Pittheus had a Roman nose with an elevation on the centre, and it was he that displayed such wonderful generosity respecting an accusation to which he was summoned to appear. George Scanderbeg, whose physiognomy indicated a matchless hero, and who stood unrivalled in courage and liberality, had a gentle and agreeable eminence on his aquiline nose. Junius says, that the great Sforza’s was elevated on its centre, and he was invincible in courage. It is believed that Mahomet, the second emperor of the Turks, who was a great warrior, had a nose so curved that it seemed to touch his upper lip. John Assimbe, surnamed Ussumcassam, had an aquiline nose, large eyes, and a gay countenance; he was very liberal and merciful, possessed an heroic generosity in war, and a great desire of glory. It is certain, that Ishmael Sophy, king of Persia, had a nose of the above description, with eyes remarkably quick and brilliant, and his manners exhibited the greatest liberality, courage and ambition. His greatest delight was to be amid the dangers and chances of war, where his invincible courage and noble heroism were always conspicuous and successful. Selim, the son of Bajazet, who for liberality could vie with Alexander the Great, had an arched nose. Lastly, the face of Soliman, the son of Selim, who was a great warrior, and beloved by all his subjects for his munificence, had a Roman nose.

We have here represented the head of the eagle, whose curved bill can be compared to the nose of Sergius Galba, being both of the same shape.


This head, which was copied from a marble statue in the collection of my uncle Adrian Spatafore, represents Vitellius, one of the Cæsars, whose enormous head can be compared to that of the owl.

Polemon and Adamantius say, that those whose heads are large, beyond proportion, are stupid, and naturally stubborn. Albert says, that the head which is so large as to lean on the shoulder for support, is destitute of sense and wit; and it was Aristotle’s opinion, that when a man’s head is unreasonably large, and out of proportion with the rest of his body, he is of a dull and sluggish disposition. For my part, I compare them to the ass, as being lazy, timid, and impertinent. They may also be compared to owls, whose heads are very large, and who come from their holes or resting-places feet foremost; on which account Ovid thus describes the transformation of Ascalaphus, who was changed into that stupid bird by Proserpine.

“In Phlegeton’s black stream her hand she dips, Sprinkles his head, and wets his babbling lips; Soon on his face, bedropt with magic dew, A change appear’d, and gaudy feathers grew; A crooked beak the place of nose supplies, Rounder his head, and larger are his eyes; His arm and body waste, but are supplied With yellow pinions, flagging on each side; His nails grow crooked, and are turned to claws, And lazily along his heavy wings he draws; Ill-omened in his form, the unlucky fowl Abhorred by men, and called a screeching owl.”

No bird has a larger head than the owl, which is a bird of night. If he shows himself in the day, all other birds attack him without mercy. Falcons that have large heads are not esteemed. Aristotle mentions a fish which has a very large head, and is for that reason called _cephale_ in greek, and _capito_ in Latin, which signify big-headed. He has a very ridiculous custom of hiding his head when frightened, and then he thinks himself in safety. He is considered as the most silly and cowardly of all the finny race. From this we may infer, that those whose heads are uncommonly large, are cowardly, rude, and ungovernable; defective in imagination, and capable of understanding little or nothing. We often hear the old proverb repeated--“Great head and little wit.” The emperor Vitellius had an uncommon large head, as can be seen from the pictures which have been made of him, and the deformity no doubt proceeded from his rude and clownish disposition.

[Illustration: _Fig. 3._]

[Illustration: _Fig. 4._]


This figure represents the striking similitude between man and the ass.

A round and convex forehead, says Aristotle, is a sign of stupidity. Polemon and Adamantius say, that the high and round forehead denotes stupidity and impudence, the true characteristics of a clown. Albert and Conciliator were also of opinion that such a forehead denotes dullness.

Long ears are a sign that their possessor is extremely foppish, both in language and action; but indicate, also, a good memory. According to Aristotle, such ears denote a disposition like that of the ass. Polemon and Adamantius say, they denote a dull disposition. Albert, having borrowed his idea from Loxus, assures us that long ears denote stupidity and impudence. Rhases says they are a sign of foolishness and longevity, which was also the opinion of Pliny.

According to the opinion of Rhases and Conciliator, he whose face is long is slow and lazy. Albert says, that such a one is cowardly and sensual, slow in his motions, lazy, and sometimes stubborn.

The under lip, when it advances more than the upper, is a sign that the possessor thinks about a great many vain things, and cherishes vulgar or unpolished ideas: such was the opinion of Polemon and Adamantius. Albert says it does not express a malicious spirit, but impudence and simplicity. I maintain that it is a mark of imprudence. Albert further adds, (from Loxus,) that when it happens in a small mouth, it denotes a thirst for praise and honour.

We have united all these signs in the same head, (Figure 3,) which will be found to correspond exactly with that of the _ass_, to which it may be compared.

Aristotle does not approve of those eyes that are very prominent, and seem almost to start from the head; and he writes to Alexander, that he whose eyes are similar to those of the ass is destitute of sense. Galen was of a similar opinion. Polemon and Adamantius do not think that such eyes betray a laudable disposition, and Rhases says, that they denote one shameless, dull, and loquacious. Pliny asserts that they are the signs by which a dunce may be known.


_Resemblance between Man and the Monkey._

Aristotle disapproved of very small eyes. Galen says that very small eyes, such as monkeys have, are a sure mark of pusillanimity, which may be readily discovered in the manners of the possessor. Polemon and Adamantius represent the miser with such eyes. Turtles have small eyes, and are extremely sly and cunning.

He who has a flat nose, says Aristotle to Alexander, is impetuous; but the ancient translation from that author is incorrect: it should have been rendered _lascivious_: otherwise, he has contradicted himself; for in his treatise on Physiognomy he compares the man with a flat nose to the stag, which has one similar, and this animal is so lustful, that in the time of rutting he becomes crazy. A nose both short and flat, says Polemon, denotes a thievish disposition.

Small ears, according to Aristotle, are common to such men as are naturally dull, and addicted to thieving, as is the monkey. Polemon and Adamantius are of opinion, that they are peculiar to the cunning and malignant man; and according to Albert, they generally belong to the thief.

Adamantius asserts that a small face designates the sly and flattering man; to which Rhases and Conciliator add timorous and covetous.

[Illustration: _Fig. 5._]

[Illustration: _Fig. 6._]


This eye, and round nose with a great eminence like the bill of a cock, are incontestible proofs that the owner, like that spirited little animal, is vigilant, brave, and voluptuous.


Polemon says that a man whose mouth is very wide is of an uncouth, rude, and impious disposition. According to Adamantius, such a mouth denotes ignorance and greediness. Albert is of opinion that a mouth unreasonably extended, points out the cruel, impious, warlike, and gluttonous man. Polemon and Adamantius represent the _Wicked Fool_ with a mouth split almost from ear to ear. Sea monsters, and all voracious animals, have such mouths. I can assure you, says Porta, that my farmer has a mouth not much smaller, and he is stupid as an ass, and greedy as a dog.

Those who have large round eyeballs are generally subject to bad habits. But Adamantius justly observes, that foolish persons have large eyeballs, and so have all giddy animals, such as the bull, sheep, &c.


The beauty of the face denotes good manners, and those amiable mental qualities from which true politeness proceeds. If it does not entirely satisfy the eye, it has the power, at least, of attracting attention. Beauty is followed by virtue, and repels vice. It is said that Achilles had a handsome visage, and that he was liberal and noble-minded; in war, generous, quick, and merciful. Patroclus was distinguished for his stature, and was strong and prudent. Priam, king of Troy, who was endowed with uncommon beauty of face, was highly virtuous. Troilus, who was remarkably handsome, was very generous, and an admirer of virtue. Hecuba was uncommonly beautiful, just, pious, and possessed of a masculine spirit. Andromache, who was possessed of bright eyes, fair complexion, and an elegant figure, was modest, wise, gentle, and chaste. Polyxena was fair, beautiful, and well proportioned, and surpassed all the other princesses in beauty. According to Dares, the Phrygian, she was elegant and liberal, and thought little of life. Diogenes says that Pythagoras was so extremely beautiful, that his disciples looked upon him as an Apollo, who came from the northward. He was the first real philosopher in Italy, where he not only professed the greatest sciences, but even invented several. Cyrus was extremely well proportioned, and was a lover of the fine arts and of honour. In the pursuit of glory, he willingly submitted to all manner of fatigue, and encountered the greatest dangers. Xenophon speaks of the virtue and warlike achievements of this truly great man. Plutarch relates that Darius was the handsomest and finest looking man of his time, insomuch that Alexander could easily distinguish him in battle. Evagoras’s face expressed honesty; he was so noble minded, brave, temperate, wise, and just, that some thought him to be a genius under the human form. Democles, on account of his personal beauty, surnamed the beautiful, was courageous and very prodigal. To escape the violence of Demetrius, who surprised him naked, and going to bathe, he leaped into a reservoir of boiling water. History mentions a young man, named Galetes, who was much beloved by Ptolemy, on account of his uncommon beauty, and the noble sentiments of his mind. The latter used to exclaim, “O thou dear and amiable youth! thou hast never caused any harm, but the sight of thee has afforded pleasure to many.” Scipio Africanus was graced with a matchless beauty, and surpassed all other men in the faculties of his mind, in eloquence, benignity, magnificence, and continence. He was well acquainted with the sciences and liberal arts; he was a valiant captain, and, by his heroic deeds, excelled not only the greatest princes of his time, but those of former ages. During battle he always displayed an invincible courage, and his clemency in victory was never equalled. Augustus preserved his beauty through life, and was admired for his eloquence, and the exercise of the fine and military arts. He was the most fortunate of all the Cæsars. Macrobius testifies, in his writings, that as Publius Syrus was extremely handsome, so the faculties of his mind were uncommonly brilliant, which enabled him to give that sharpness to his jests for which he was so celebrated. Lucretia, so celebrated among the Romans, owed her celebrity to her beauty and chastity. Galeatius surpassed all his cotemporaries in virtue and magnificence, as well as in beauty. He established a college, and a library, in which he placed the best professors and the choicest books. Saladin, emperor of the Turks, was handsome and generous. John Pic Mirandula, possessed great beauty of face, symmetry of shape, and elegance of figure. His imagination was brilliant, his behaviour frank, and his eloquence irresistible; for which virtues he was justly called the Phœnix of his age.


Homer represents Thersites as having a very long head, a deformed face, and low stature, to which his manners appears to have corresponded. Leteus Metellus was so small, and his face so deformed, that he appeared ridiculous to all. Cicero reproached Piso for the deformity of his face, and the shameful profligacy of his manners. Sallust remarks, that the pale and deformed visage of Cataline was more like that of a corpse than of a living man; he was profane, cruel, and capable of the blackest crimes. Xenocrates had a disagreeable and hideous aspect, for which reason he often sacrificed to the graces, that they might give him some beauty; his mind was stupid and dull, and he used to say that “he wanted spurs to be roused to action.”



Advertisement, 5

Preface, 7

Introductory remarks, 13

Analysis of the head, 19 of the forehead, 20 of the eyebrows, 24 of the eyes, 26 of the nose, 27 of the mouth, 28 of the chin, 30 of the cheeks, 31 of the hair, 32 of the neck, 33

Plate No. I. Cunning, deceit, avarice, 35 II. Precision, application, 37 III. Benevolence, probity, neatness, 39 IV. Modesty, gravity, 41 V. Self-conceit, ignorance, obstinacy, 43 VI. Intemperance, 45 VII. Firmness, occasional irritation, compound of phlegmatic and melancholic, 47 VIII. Reflection, energy, insensibility, 49 IX. Love, sanguinity, 51 X. Incoherence, genius, folly, 53 XI. Violent passion, heroism, 55 XII. Philosophy, timidity, 57 XIII. Want of energy, 59 XIV. Strong memory, good sense, deliberative, perseverance, 61 XV. Integrity, sedateness, choler, 63 XVI. Profundity, constancy, 65 XVII. Severity, taciturnity, original genius, 67 XVIII. Frankness, intrepidity, good nature, 69 XIX. Egotism, suspicion, treachery, avarice, corroding care, 71 XX. Resolution, activity, genius, 73 XXI. Goodness, clearness of perception, 75 XXII. Choler, 77 XXIII. Dulness, obstinacy, 79 XXIV. Candour, frankness, honesty, 81 XXV. Enterprise, imagination, uncontrollable passions, 83 XXVI. Craft, sordidness, villany, 85 XXVII. Self-love, arrogance, irritability, 87 XXVIII. Craft, enterprise, 89 XXIX. Poetic genius, firmness, 91 XXX. Melancholy, 93 XXXI. Gayety, sprightliness, 95 XXXII. Love of quiet, pensiveness, 97

Comparison of Man with other Animals., 101